Hays belts way into books with three-homer game for Keys

Orioles' No. 7 prospect goes deep in first three trips to the plate

Hays belts way into books with three-homer game for Keys

Austin Hays entered Class A Advanced Frederick's record books on Wednesday afternoon, becoming the first player in Keys history to hit three homers in a single game.

Making the Orioles' No. 7 prospect's feat was even more impressive was that he accomplished it in his first three at-bats in Game 1 of a doubleheader, a seven-inning contest, against Potomac. However, not even Hays' big game could keep Frederick from falling to the P-Nats, who scored seven runs in the fifth inning en route to an 11-7 victory.

Hays led off the game with a home run to left field and then went deep to left-center to begin the third inning. The 21-year-old outfielder connected on his third homer of the contest, another solo shot, in the following frame before hitting a fly out to left in his final at-bat to finish 3-for-4 at the plate. He went 0-for-4 in the nightcap, a 7-3 loss.

Game 1 box score

Hays' three-homer outburst comes just two days after he was named to MLBPipeline.com's Prospect Team of the Week following a seven-game stretch, from May 15-21, in which he batted .438/.471/.813 with two home runs, six doubles and six RBIs.

Overall, Hays, the Orioles' third-round Draft pick last June, has excelled in first full professional season despite having made the jump directly to Frederick from the Class A Short Season New York-Penn League.

After Wednesday's performance, he ranks among the top five in the Carolina League in home runs (eight), average (.321) and slugging (.552), with 23 RBIs and 26 runs scored in 41 games.

Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.